seattle

wednesday ramblings – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you can’t be it

It’s been quite a while since I have blogged. I have been busy with school, trying to make the most of my last couple of months in Seattle and in general, just living life. But whenever I feel like everything is starting to spin out of control, I always return to “The Brass Blossom.” I feel like it is a space where I feel safe, but I also feel like I can stretch my wings. Writing a blog post always makes me feel both grounded and empowered all at the same time. So I return to the trust worthy BB this week to share some thoughts….

This week has just been one of those weeks. I have felt like I was just in a funk. Being in Grad School at the ripe age of 27, I feel like I am just in the wrong place, at entirerly the wrong time in my life. Even though I always try to focus on the present and how “comparison is the thief of joy,” sometimes I just want to give into comparison and by like, “you win!” I see everyone else getting married, getting lady boss jobs, having babies and in general, just kicking ass in life, while I am over here like, what pages do I need to read for economics?

To add to this funk, my best of friends from Idaho are all going to the women’s march this weekend in Boise. I just felt left out and sick of being away. It didn’t help that Seattle decided that this week would be the prime time to start torrentially raining again and I just feel stuck. Both physically in the rain and in Seattle but also mentally.

I also happened to actually be stuck on the bus when all of this came crashing down on me. I was talking to my mom and she asked if something “happened.” I couldn’t even say yes. There wasn’t just one thing or even really a thing. It was just a bunch of stuff. So naturally when she asked if I was okay, I started crying and then it got awkward because I was having a minor public meltdown on a very public bus. And the girl behind me wouldn’t stop staring. This was probably due to the fact that I also chose the one sit that is perpendicular to all of the others and is smack dab in the middle of the bus, because apparently it is the safest. So I just rode it out. The tears, the stares, which probably weren’t even stares but just poor bus seating. But hey, at least I was in the safest spot. It was just a no good, very bad, but really in the scheme of things, not so bad moment. Disclaimer: this is why you don’t have personal conversations on the bus, so you don’t appear to be unstable.

But then later, an amazing friend inspired me. She inspired me out of my funk and inspired my weekend. She proposed that this weekend we celebrate all of the things that women can do. Regardless of your political stance, or what you think about e-mails, health insurance or who to tax, one thing that I hope all women can agree on is that this election was discouraging for at least one reason. That one reason alone is that a woman still is not and cannot be the wholly President of the United States of America. You can’t be what you can’t see.

So as someone who is generally pretty lady boss focused and a results oriented person, I think that celebrating all that I can be is a pretty fine way to turn around my week. I can celebrate wanting to be a lady boss and achieving that. I can celebrate buying a tweed blazer with fantastic elbow patches to one day wear to a board meeting to lean in. I can celebrate drinking whiskey. I can celebrate my body for what it can do, not what it looks like. I can celebrate crushing it at Crossfit. I can celebrate being independent but also being encouraged – by a family, a boyfriend and friends that encourage me to my highest potential. I can celebrate growing up in a home that didn’t solely define gender roles and limit that very potential. I can celebrate choosing to have children or not. I can celebrate reading a health law book just before finishing my trashy romance novel. I can celebrate choosing a career, whether it be a CEO or a calligrapher. I can celebrate that I am intelligent, athletic, strong, motivated and maybe, even witty. And I can celebrate me.

So I encourage you this weekend to celebrate the things that you can do, regardless of your gender. Don’t focus on the funk (or the flu as it is going around like wild-fire – stay healthy people!). Focus on the future and what we can do. And as I’m walking my own walk and talking my own talk, remember, especially all you boss ladies out there, that just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you can’t be it.

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taylor brass

brass blossom

best of may – mojo, bachelorette mischief, morels & resiliency

May was one of those months where I think I lost my mojo. Jupiter was in retrograde for most of the month but I think it was more than that. All in all it was a fantastic month but nothing quite went as planned…

In the process of tracking down a missing Lululemon Gift Card (for which I probably would have gone to the end of the Earth to find), I managed to lock myself out of my apartment in Seattle wearing nothing but sweat pants and a white tank top and simultaneously kill the battery in my car by leaving a light on (not to be discovered until days later). Thankfully a pizza guy came to my rescue 30 minutes into sitting by the door nipping out with no bra on. And that was just one night.

P.S. You can learn how to jump a car on Google. #modernwoman

Then American Airlines changed my flight suddenly at 11:00 pm the night before I was supposed to fly out and also managed to lose my bag between Seattle and Phoenix. I was on my way to the most fantastic Bachelorette weekend celebrating my favorite dino friend. My bag ended up going all the way to Hawaii without me (seriously sad) leaving me to clothe myself in all of the offered belongings from my very nice friends. And again, naturally I wore yoga pants and a sports bra on the plane so I was pretty defenseless when it came to extra undergarments.

Please learn from my mistakes and make sure when you leave your home to always, always bring keys and wear underwear and a bra and even pack an extra or two in your carry on so you don’t have to nip out to a pizza guy, go commando for several days or borrow what turned out to be a very nice pair of underwear. Also you never give back borrowed underwear. Rule #1 of life.

But enough about my May craziness that seemed to always come back to undergarments and on to the good stuff! Here is what I loved!

1. #dinotribe. Despite not having any luggage for most of the trip and having to deal with American Airlines for too many hours (they were absolute miserable and not at all helpful), the highlight of May was my trip to Phoenix to celebrate one of my greatest friend’s bachelorette party. I also cannot wait to be with her on her wedding day! She was that friend in college who suddenly just appeared like a bright, loving, generous, compassionate, brilliant light and never left (in a good way). She is also my favorite person to snuggle and make pug and dinosaur noises. She is that type of friend.

We spent the weekend enjoying the scorching hot weather, drinking too much alcohol and laughing literally the entire time. Highlights included a run that turned into a two hour adventure lost in the desert, posing with cacti, blowing up giant pool floaties by mouth, strapping down that one friend who had too much to drink on a pool floatie in the middle of the living room to sleep next to a bowl, late night talks, the absurd pictures that were captured and 5 am walks in the sunrise. It was truly one of the greatest weekends where we all fell back into those insanely comfortable relationships we had in college and made some new incredible friends. Love you all!

just the beginning...

just the beginning…

the most beautiful bride to be (& her dino!)

the most beautiful bride to be (& her dino!)

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running with bae

running with bae

we may have been lost but that didn't stop us from impersonating cacti

we may have been lost but that didn’t stop us from impersonating cacti

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my happy place

my happy place

before one of the most fun nights that i have ever had

before the insanity

selfies

selfies

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❤ my bri bird

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bethhhhhhh

5 am sunrise walks

5 am sunrise walks

2. reading on the bus. I’m not certain how it took me so long to figure this one out. I rode the bus everyday to and from school. I spent anywhere between 20-3o minutes on the bus but never felt like it was enough time one be that one person to dig through their bag and pull out a book and spill the bag’s contents everywhere. But when modern technology meets having a gigantic iPhone 6+ it turns out you can read quite comfortably on your phone!

I ended up reading nine books in May. Yes, nine! One of which was Grey (aka 50 Shades of Grey told by the male character). I figured since I went to Grad School and learned useful and smart things everyday that I could read trashy novels on the bus. And yes, it was fantastic just like the first novels and pretty much word for word the first book. Definitely a great summer read!

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3. home for a break. I started the month off with a fantastic trip home. To maintain my sanity in Seattle I tried to go home at least once a quarter to cram in as many Idaho activities and love as possible. This break topped the charts with lots of friend-time, dog hikes, days of morel mushroom hunting and time spent with the boy and my Maude Pod. It literally couldn’t have been more perfect.

birthday love!

birthday love!

my favorite hiking buddies <3

my favorite hiking buddies ❤

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sunrise hikes

sunrise hikes with my brass blossom boyfriend

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a trip home wouldn't be complete without some goat love!

a trip home wouldn’t be complete without some goat love!

4. may morels. During my visit back to Idaho in May, the boy and I spent the majority of two days hunting for morel mushrooms. Other than finding a lone morel hiking last summer I had never gotten into the hunt. But let me tell you, it is one of the most addicting activities that I have ever participated in. The boy and I went with some friends and simply wandered in circles around in the woods for hours and hours with the pups. I now understand the Gold Rush.

The only thing that stopped us both days was when the girls got hangry. Lesson learned boys: always bring snacks for your girlfriends when morel hunting. Wine and cheese would be a great start.

look at this things!

look at this things!

morels!

morels!

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my love bugs + morels = perfect day

my love bugs + morels = the perfect day

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i promise she loves us

i promise she loves us

post-adventures schooners

post-adventures schooners

lovers <3

lovers ❤

5. sheryl sandberg does it again. I was recently asked who I want to be when I grow up? Apparently I’m not grown up but not the point. My first thought was Sheryl Sandberg. Not only because she is a badass COO but also because she seems to just get it. Her recent “getting it” was a Graduation speech she gave to Berkeley. She touched on many things but what got to me most was her note about resiliency:

“And when the challenges come, I hope you remember that anchored deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself.”

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6. honey. My one major complaint about Grad School is the fact that it has really cut down on my online shopping. While this is sad and all I think that I will survive, especially after coming across this life changing online shopping app, called Honey. I’ve probably spent a good amount of my precious life searching for promo codes to get discounts or free shipping while online shopping. But when you download Honey it does it all for you! Simply install it to Google Chrome and a little icon will appear when you go to check out! I literally saved 60% off the other day when I ordered some paper invites.

Feel free to use my code to join because it also gives you points to redeem when you share with friends!

Code to Join: joinhoney.com/ref/vloyjc

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of april – love bugs, sea to pdx, new finds & being better

If April is any indication how this year is going to go then it is all going to just fly by. Quite honestly, I was pretty depressed to return to Seattle at the end of March to begin another quarter of school. Seattle must have sensed my darkness because April was full of so much light, love, sunshine and happiness.

This springtime in Seattle has truly been incredible. But as much as I have been loving the spring washing away the winter blues and wandering around the pacific northwest, I am ecstatic to be returning home this summer to complete an internship in Idaho! Cheers to moving onwards and upwards and to being closer to all of my love bugs.

Here is what I adored this April!

1. love bugs in seattle. The boy and Miss Maude Pod came and visited me for a long weekend and I don’t know if I have ever been quite so excited to have visitors. It was so much fun showing them around the city and we also spent a night on Whidbey Island. The island was fairly deserted and was just the calming atmosphere that we needed.

We explored several beaches and Maude had the best time sniffing new smells, trying to drink the salt water and chasing sea-gulls. It was perfectly relaxing and oh so much fun!

we found a "maude" bench!

we found a “maude” bench!

mornings with bae

mornings with bae

first time beach explorations!

first time beach explorations!

proof casey also came...

proof the boy also came…

my baby forever

my baby forever

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love bugs <3

love bugs ❤

pretty much our life motto

pretty much our life motto

potato tacos!

potato tacos!

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sunset drinks with these two cuties

sunset drinks with these two cuties

when you cant pick just one, or two...

when you cant pick just one, or two…

2. new finds. Don’t get me wrong, I love Grad School but one thing I do not love about Grad School is my negative income. It really doesn’t lend itself well to my slight problem with online shopping. Let’s just say it has effectively put it on hold (for now…). But I did manage to capture two finds in April that I am just loving!

The first is a pair of leggings from Vie Active. The boy got me a few gifts from there a while ago and I have a credit that I have been meaning to use. So when they came out with these leggings I just couldn’t resist! They are now sold out but I have another pair of leggings from them and love both pairs. Truth be told though I haven’t ever really come across a pair of leggings I don’t like…

love the bag they send with the leggings (perfect for sweaty clothes or bathing suits)

love the bag they send with the leggings (perfect for sweaty clothes or bathing suits)

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The second are these perfectly simple gold stud earrings that my mom got for me as a present. She happens to be the best mom on the planet and gave me these as a just because gift. I wear them in my second hole and love that they are simple enough for everyday wear and I can leave them in all the time. And just like leggings, you cannot go wrong with gold!

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perfectly gold and simple

perfectly gold and simple

3. wandering the pacific northwest. April was a month of some serious adventures. It literally was so nice and sunny almost everyday that I felt that I had to get out and enjoy the sunshine and weather. Also chances are I will probably never have mostly three-day weeks ever again so might as well take advantage!

This made for quite a few epic adventures including hiking Mailbox Peak and Lake 22, venturing to gorgeous tulip farms and a trip down to Portland to spend time with some of my favorites! And a huge thank you to Mr and Mrs Howard for hosting us! Pictures pretty much say it all…

mt rainier looming from the top of the peak

mt rainier looming from the top of the peak

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tulips <3

tulips ❤

love the rogue tulip

love the rogue tulip

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the gorgeous lake 22!

the gorgeous lake 22!

it wouldn't be an adventure without a handstand

it wouldn’t be an adventure without a handstand

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portland brunch (so nom)

portland brunch (so nom)

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

our evening spread

our evening spread

and of course cupcakes to top the night off!

and of course cupcakes to top the night off!

4. crystal lamp. I actually received this Crystal lamp as a Valentine’s gift from the boy’s mom (thank you again!) and was immediately intrigued by it. It is perfectly peachy-pink (great Valentine’s gift) and is made out of Himalayan salt. FYI so you don’t have to, I actually licked it to make sure…it is real salt.

The supposed benefits of the lamp include: cleaner air, reduced allergies and improved mood. And I truly think the lamp works. It emits a soft amber glow and is a perfect soft lighting. I turn it on when I get back to the apartment for the day and love getting into bed to watch a show with it’s glow. I would most definitely recommend one if only for a pretty bed-side table decoration! (Pretty sure they are all over Amazon!)

himalayan crystal salt lamp

himalayan crystal salt lamp

5. it’s a good day to be a good day. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something but I just felt like I kept running across great articles about “getting better.” I loved this article on focusing on one thing everyday. That one thing being “Get Better Today.” It really resonated with me because I think it’s so hard to really just live in the present and be mindful but if you at least try to focus on getting better today then it brings you back to the present and result in daily improvements.

And to top off that amazing article here is another (mostly pictures) about Marceline. She is a little pugger bugger who has the misfortune of wearing a cone of shame and figures out how to make the best of it and feel better!

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Cheers to (almost) summer and continued sunshine!

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of february — comparison is the thief of joy, wettest winter & goodness

All in all February was a fantastic month. To be honest though, Grad School is a bit of a roller-coaster with all of the work, emotions and just being at a different point in life than so many of my friends. There are many times when I just feel like I am going nowhere and so far behind in life. It’s especially hard when almost every day your focus is on where you will be in the future and you don’t even have a sense of an answer to this question.

But my mantra of recent months has been that “comparison is the thief of joy.” I tend to get really swept up in where I think I should be in life, rather than just focusing on the present. So I have made it my resolution this year live not comparing and just focus in on what makes me happy and “do me.” So with that in mind I have been loving going out to escape the city on a hiking adventures, enjoying the sunshine or going to yoga or just staying in to binge watch a TV show or just relax!

Also apparently this year has been the wettest Winter on record in Seattle. While the rain hasn’t gotten to me that much, I am so excited to go home for a few weeks this month for Spring Break for some Idaho sunshine and love!

Here is what I have been loving this February!

1. seattle explored. To escape the wettest winter on record I have made sure to take full advantage of any day that looks like it could be remotely sunny. I am very fortunate to have another Idaho partner-in-crime living in Seattle who also enjoys getting up early on weekends to go on an adventure and escape the city for a few hours. We always make sure to pack coffee, snacks, detox ginger tea and beer, our yak tracks (must have Winter hiking accessory!), extra socks and so many layers! So far we have ventured to Lake Serene, Discovery Park and Heather Lake. We ran into oodles of snow at both Lake Serene and Heather Lake. I love being able to hike in the Winter where you start on “dry” ground and end up just a couple thousand feet up surrounded by snow!

Another amazing adventure I went on recently was with a great friend from Grad School where we circumnavigated Lake Union. It ended up being about a half marathon work of walking but was the perfect way to spend an amazingly sunny Thursday afternoon. Seattle is quite possibly the most beautiful city when the sun is shining!

poo poo point for some sunshine

poo poo point for some sunshine

early bird gets the sunrise

early bird gets the sunrise

idaho adventure buddy!

idaho adventure buddy!

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so much snow!

so much snow!

lake serene

lake serene

so excited!

so excited!

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the best way to start the morning

the best way to start the morning

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so much water

so much water

first glimpse of heather lake

first glimpse of heather lake

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hiking selfies!

hiking selfies!

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gas works park while circumnavigating lake union

gas works park while circumnavigating lake union

that skyline!

that skyline!

2. bridemaids x 2. I was asked by two of my very favorite people to stand by their sides during their special days. They are two of the kindest and most loyal friends and I’m soooooo excited! I cannot wait for all the pre-wedding shenanigans and being apart of their big days. Cheers to another Summer on the wedding circuit!

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yes!

yes!

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<3

so pretty!

so pretty!

yes!

yes!

3. love at home. I escaped the wettest winter on record in Seattle early in the month to go home. I happened to get a cold right before leaving but the trek home was well worth it for all the love, sunshine, snuggles and more snuggles. Every time I enter the Wood River Valley I just feel a sense of peace and calm. It continually makes me even more thankful to come from such an amazing place with amazing people. So much love!

morning snuggles with my favorite pirate

morning snuggles with my favorite pirate

when the girls drive the truck

when the girls drive the big truck

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casual game of sledge hockey

casual game of sledge hockey

greatest place ever

greatest place ever

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tricky goats!

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maude pod <3

maude pod ❤

my favorites!

my favorites!

4. good reads. My book choices recently might indicate that the Winter is getting to me a bit more than usual but the Target “self-help” section just really calls my name sometimes. Honestly there have been many times where I have gotten a bit down about living in Seattle by myself and all the stress that comes along with Grad School so I figured a bit of inspiration from Shonda Rhimes and my always favorite Cheryl Strayed couldn’t hurt.

I sped through both of these books and they are staples on my nightstand here for whenever I need a dose of inspiration. I would highly recommend both!

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5. good tv. One name + one word says it all. JoJo + shiplap. For those of you that are similar cult followers you know what I am talking about. For those of you that haven’t been exposed to the greatest show ever let me introduce you to Fixer Upper. It is about a couple who live in Waco, Texas who take the worst house in the best neighborhood and make it into the house of your dreams.

I literally love everything about it, but mostly I just adore JoJo and her love for shiplap, subway tile, distressed wood, white, farm-life and the list goes on and on. I highly recommend a binge watching session right about now. JoJo (yes, we are on a first name basis) also has a blog….
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6. good laughs. For those of you that have Instagram go follow Pumpkin the Raccoon right now. And if you don’t have Instagram, go stalk Pumpkin on whatever form of social media you see fit. You will not regret it.

Pumpkin is a rescued raccoon who lives somewhere tropical where the living is easy. Pumpkin has the best family that consists of two doggie siblings and pretty much just enjoys the finer things in life. If I’m ever having a bad day, Pumpkin cheers me right up!

pumpkin <3

pumpkin ❤

7. pretty blooms. Okay I have to admit that every time I see a tree flower in Seattle I am absolutely amazed. Being from a place where pretty much the only things that really “bloom” are flowers in like July I am constantly amazed that ginormous trees bloom. The current cherry blossoms and other beautiful blossoms in Seattle are literally brightening up the entire city. It makes me so happy every time I see them, rain or shine. And they add to another reason why Seattle is such a gorgeous city.

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so pretty!

so pretty!

inspired by all the florals!

inspired by all the blooms!

the view from my bedroom - so pink!

the view from my bedroom – so pink!

Cheers to March and enjoying most of the month in Idaho for Spring Break! Hope you all are having a fantastic end to your Winter!

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of october – a new normal, seattle romps, idaho love forever, hearts & souls

The past six weeks have been a whirl wind. The last time I wrote a “love it” I literally couldn’t imagine what the upcoming weeks would have in store for me. I set off for Seattle at the end of September to begin a new chapter and my life pretty much turned upside down. Not necessarily upside down in a bad way but in a new normal way. Nothing was quite like I knew it.

But I have slowly started to settle into this new normal of city life, taking the bus, walking to the grocery store, finding “hikes” in random corners of the city, eating phenomenal food, having Skype sessions, requesting hundreds of selfies of Miss Maude Pod and the boy and my mom and the goats, and following my literal dreams. Although there are definitely the moments when I seriously question what the hell am I doing with my life and completely panic about everything, I am always brought back to the fact that I am living my dream in the program I am attending. I feel engaged, I feel motivated and I feel like for the first time in a while that I am going in a direction of purpose. So whenever I have those inevitable moments of serious self doubt I always remind myself of this quote:

“do not worry that your life is turning upside down. how do you know the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – rumi

Cheers to a new side of life, wether up or down or all around, and what I have been loving during the crazy month of October! (PS I will now only be doing monthly “love its” like Krista as Grad School can be a bit intense at times…)

1. seattle romps. Thankfully my wonderful mom helped me drive to Seattle, unpack and get organized. We had a ridiculous amount of fun along the way and I am very thankful that she came along for the ride and adventures. And while she is a fabulous copilot, cart pusher and sherpa she is not the most fabulous canoe steerer. Thank you so much mom, I likely couldn’t survive without you. Here is a look at all the fun we had!

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

go ducks!

go ducks!

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no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

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new turtle friends

new turtle friends

obviously we went under there

obviously we went under there

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we survived!

we survived!

using the cart escalator!

using the cart escalator!

2. new PNW adventures. Now let me tell you, I don’t think that I have ever been so busy in all of my life. Grad School is a completely different type of beast. But it’s been a good busy. One of the things I truly love about living in Seattle is there is so much going on day or night. So many new places to go to adventure, to eat, to drink and to see new things. I have tried to make the most of the time that I have had and get out to do as much as possible like ferry rides, new hikes, Mariners games, celebrating the ducks and the most fabulous weekend on the beach with my favorite most outlandish and loving friend Ali and her family. I am incredibly lucky that I already have a few great friends that live in Seattle that have welcomed me to the city with open arms and I have managed to make a few new friends along the way as well (who would have thought?? but actually making friends as an adult is hard people…).

ferry rides & morning light

ferry rides & morning light

new hikes! to poo-poo point...

new hikes! to poo-poo point…

idaho friends in seattle places

idaho friends in seattle places

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the most delicious happy hour

the most delicious happy hour

so much fun!

so much fun!

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i went for the fireworks

i went for the fireworks

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i caught a ball (obvi!)

i caught a ball (obvi!)

hike to rattlesnake ridge

hike to rattlesnake ridge

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the best friends <3

the best friends ❤

the prettiest bouq

the prettiest bouq

a trip to the seashore

a trip to the seashore

caught it with her bare hands

caught it with her bare hands

seashore selfies in the wind

seashore selfies in the wind

discovery point

discovery point

the best ladies

the best ladies

go ducks!

go ducks!

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loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

3. i couldn’t stay away for long. And while my first couple of weeks in Seattle were great, I was ready to return home to everything that I love so much, the fresh air, the mountains, the familiarity, the friends, the Maude Pod, the boy and the family. So I ventured home over Halloween weekend and had truly the most incredible weekend. I only cried like four times but like three of those were just out of pure joy of being home and surrounded by so much good juju and love and Maude Pod kisses. On a side note flights are like super cheap right now if anyone is wanting to go somewhere or come visit me!

On my first day there the boy took the day off and we had a perfectly relaxing Idaho day obviously filled with a few adventures. After sleeping in and so many Maude Pod snuggles we ventured to Stanley for some time in the hot springs and a romp at Redfish Lake that was completely deserted. We played on the beach, on the dock and Maude played in the water and made a good attempt at burying her face in the sand like a crazy dog. It was literally a day that just cleared your mind and left you wanting more of that perfect Idaho solitude. It was one of those days that I wanted to bottle up to save forever. To bottle up that feeling of pure contentment, pure joy and pure nothingness on the mind. The rest of the weekend flew by with lots of amazing food, family dinners, hikes, working out like three times a day and a Halloween Party for the books. Until next time Idaho!

the most wonderful place in the world

the most wonderful place in the world

idaho love <3

idaho love ❤

i couldn't leave without a handstand

i couldn’t leave without a handstand

this lady completes my life

this lady completes my life

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running on water

running on water

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perfection

perfection

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well hello

well hello

i missed you too goats

i missed you too goats

my favorite co-pilot

my favorite co-pilot

afternoon adventures

afternoon adventures

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when you try to clean the car...

when you try to clean the car…

someone loves her goat herd

someone loves her goat herd

my favorite idaho ladies!

pug trumps flamingo (see what i did there…)

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

last morning walks

last morning walks

my love bugs

my love bugs

<3

4. home is where the heart is. Idaho will always be one of my true loves. Here are a few “pieces” of Idaho that I have been carrying around, sporting and dreaming under to keep my love for Idaho strong while living in the Seattle rain. Also on a somewhat related note, Krista and I decided that the shape of Idaho is pretty much the coolest state shape ever, right?!

the most amazing idaho necklace birthday present from the boy's parents

the most amazing idaho necklace birthday present from the boy’s parents

the cutest idaho shirt!

the cutest idaho shirt!

washington print by the lovely gina hagerty, idaho string art by me

washington print by the lovely gina hagerty, idaho string art by me

5. addicted to water. I am pretty much addicted to water and drink probably far more than anyone actually thinks is necessary in a day but it just makes me feel better. Another thing that I am addicted to is water bottles. And while I will forever have a favorite water bottle that is a sea green Nalgeen that happens to glow in the dark (the boy got it for me so that I could see it at night being legally blind = the sweetest gift ever), this S’well water bottle might go in for the tie. My mom (who is a fabulous gifter) got me this bottle for my birthday and I am in love with it. It might seem ridiculously pricey for a water bottle but I promise you can’t go wrong. Also since it’s almost that time of the year one of these bottles would make a great gift for that special someone in your life…

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6. a pug bush. What is a “pug bush” you might ask? A pug bush is what my mom and I created to honor our dear, sweet pugs. We had to say goodbye to our second pug during late summer and knew that we wanted to bury them together. If you have ever owned a pug or two or a grumble you will know that pugs love to be on top of you, on top of each other or on top of anything and everything while on top of each other. Pugs love to snuggle so we decided we had to bury our pugs together. And to honor them we bought a bush to bury them under. And not just any bush, we bought the shortest, fattest, most misshapen bush we could find that will apparently bloom bright, red flowers in the Spring and Summer. Thus the creation of a pug bush. Now if only the bush will survive until next Spring/Summer to see the flowers bloom if the goats don’t eat it all first…

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❤ a pug bush

7. broken record + quotes to live by. Other than thousands of pages of text books I haven’t had much time to read this past month but I have come across a few must read articles…I have said it before and I will say it again, I love Cheryl Strayed. So when I came across this LA Times article I knew that I had to share it. Strayed pretty much sums up everything and anything stating, “you have to be brave enough to break your own heart.” Aka even in those times that it really sucks and everything is really hard you have to be brave enough to do what is going to make you and your life better. The quote is from her new book of quotes, Brave Enough, which is a collection of her all time best quotes. Strayed has gotten me pretty far this year so I urge you all in those moments of self doubt or hating life or hating your current position in life to stalk Strayed, read her books or watch the beauty of one of her stories unfold. I promise you wont regret it. Plus she is now friends with Reese Witherspoon so she is clearly a genius.

Another must read I happened across was from the NY Times (clearly I’m currently all about the “Times”) when it was shared by a wise friend with an equally incredible soul on Facebook. The article is a very candid interview with Rihanna and other than the random notes about childbirth, it was truly a beautiful article that left me wanting more. It ends with this captivating idea:

“Souls are funny things. They stay constant even when the outside changes, or when the heart makes mistakes. Souls don’t really care about good or bad, right or wrong — they’re just true. Everlasting…A soul just knows a soul.”

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — saying goodbye, new beginnings & outdoor adventures

The past couple of weeks have been marked by tremendous changes. Like daily kinda have a panic attack and realize you need to breathe so you sit on the couch nursing a La Croix several times a day, tremendous, bittersweet, big, deep breaths in a paper-bag changes. And what could possible sway my ever cool, easy going self, without a touch of OCD and anxiety you might ask? I am officially leaving in less than a week for Graduate School.

That’s right. I am moving solo to Seattle to literally live my dream with the Grad School program that I am attending. I repeat that daily x 50 for a little verbal courage. Leaving Idaho, the boy, Miss Maude Pod, my family, my incredible group of friends and my #brassblossom boyfriend after this year may likely be the hardest thing I have ever done but deep down I know it’s right. I have wrestled back and forth with not going or delaying my start or simply becoming a professional hiker to avoid the real world, but alas I know that it is the right next step for for me . This year has been a hell of a year (and to be honest I am already welcoming 2016 with open arms) but it has also been a year that has taught me probably more than I ever really wanted to know.

So with that happy, sad, why the hell am I moving away from the great state of Idaho and sunshine news, here is what I have been adoring recently!

Disclaimer: There are a lot of emotions below…

1. new beginnings. The boy really boiled it down for me one day when I was sitting on the kitchen floor crying about saying “see you soon” to him and my little Miss Maude Pod when he said point blank that he was glad to see me crying because if I wasn’t crying it would mean I wasn’t going and that would mean I would be angry. Angry about giving up an incredible opportunity that I have worked so hard for and wanted so badly for so long. And while I occasionally question his tact, I never question is support. He is a wise boy. Buddha-like.

Even though I am having a difficult time practicing what I preach currently (aka crying hysterically on the kitchen floor…), the one concrete thing that this year has really taught me is that you have to live your own life, your own dreams and your own path. Earlier this year I was so paralyzed by fear that I felt I couldn’t personally function. And while I had a pretty legit reason, I have very slowly come to the realization that I need to live my own life, my own dreams and my own path in order to fully support anyone else. While the life and little family that the boy and I have made here is beyond incredible and will never be replaced, it’s not where I feel 100% complete. I have a burning desire to learn more, be more and accomplish more. So that is what I will be doing, even if it involves some more kitchen floor tears. So cheers to new beginnings and following your dreams!

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2. goodbye 25. Goodbye forever, 25. I just celebrated by 26th birthday and I am happily welcoming a new year of life and thinking 26 will be a dandy year. The only way I wanted to celebrate the day was with no stress. I just wanted it to be simple and happy and like every other normal day (as I am cherishing every second or normalcy right now). So that is just what it was. The boy and I enjoyed a super simple family dinner (plus goats) on Sunday and then I spent my entire birthday indulging in everything I love: sleeping in snuggling Maude pod, peanut butter toast + coffee, Crossfit, reading for several hours by the pool, cocktail hour at Sun Valley Pond and then a nice mellow night at home making dinner and watching the voice. #bestdayever.

best birthday cake ever from my always amazing mother

best birthday cake ever from my always amazing mother

when you go to crossfit and it's your birthday...

when you go to crossfit and it’s your birthday…

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3. stanley adventures. Last weekend I celebrated my birthday just a bit early with three of the most fabulous Idaho ladies around. I couldn’t have asked for better women to help me celebrate. Earlier this year (like in May) we committed a weekend in September to Meadow Creek Spa for their slack special as we had been talking about it for years. And it was absolutely perfect. We all enjoyed a treatment followed by some amazing hot-spring time and a rowdy night out on the town. Not surprisingly we spent the next day feeling not the greatest but that didn’t deter us from getting out and exploring in the Sawtooth’s at Alice Lake. A post to follow as it was definitely one of the best Idaho Adventures to date!

the view from meadowcreek spa

the view from meadow creek spa

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almost to alice lake...more on that to come

almost to alice lake…more on that to come

love these ladeis!

love these ladeis!

4. hiking all over wyoming. I have taken a few weeks off before starting back to the grind of school and earlier this month I went to visit family in Wyoming. It was the perfect week filled with sunshine, so many miles hiking and quality time with those I don’t get to see often enough. It was an ideal way to decompress after I quit working. Here is a look at my beautiful adventures (if I do say so myself) as well as a pretty strong reminder that Wyoming is also breathtakingly gorgeous…

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mountains for days

sacred rim in the wind river mountains

sacred rim in the wind river mountains

a hike without a yoga pose is not a real hike

a hike without a yoga pose is not a real hike

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quite possibly the prettiest lake ever

quite possibly the prettiest lake ever

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<3

practicing using the bear spray...

practicing using the bear spray…

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handstands…

bow posing...

bow posing…

bird of paradising

bird of paradising

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5. sway steals. And now for some materialism since I appreciate a good shopping find as much as all this lovey-dovey talk. I bought these jeans Labor Day Weekend at SWAY and am literally in love. I was initially in love when I saw they were only $50 (cheers to Labor Day Sales!) and now I’m in love because they fit amazingly and are so soft and comfortable. Plus it’s super hard to find a cute pair of lighter jeans without looking like you have thunder thighs. As someone who is a die-hard yoga pant/legging wearing person, these jeans come close to that feeling you get wearing a nice pair of lulus…

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6. 1989 (aka best year EVER). 1989 happens to be the year both your #thebrassblossom beauties were born. It also happens to be the year Taylor Swift was born. And this remake pretty much sums up how incredible we all are! #poweryear.

7. happy birthday, cheryl strayed. Even though she wasn’t born in 1989, Cheryl Strayed is still one incredible woman who also just recently celebrated her birthday. Strayed’s work has really touched super close to home this year for me and her words, lessons and wisdom are truly transfixing. So in honor of her birthday, 15 of her greatest quotes were gathered together here. And here is one quote that is really speaking to me now:

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8. moments of gratitude. Maybe it’s because I’m ridiculously nostalgic right now and cherishing every moment of Idaho, family, friends, the boy and Maude Pod snuggles but I am continuously overwhelmed with moments of complete gratitude. Before this year I can’t really ever recall having moments when everything seems to slow and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the simplest things. Gratitude for just those little moments where you feel complete and like you have all these little happy minions dancing inside of you regardless of whatever is a shit show in your life that day. My one goal going into this new year is to try to continue to recognize those moments and not let the hustle and bustle of life overcome those moments of perfect, little infinity.

love these two <3

love these two ❤

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Cheers to an amazing week and new beginnings! Until next time in Seattle…

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — sun rays, pool days and seattle

As Taylor mentioned, I was hit with a “death sickness” last week, so I had fewer days to really love this week. Who gets sick with the flu in June?! That being said, I did rediscover my love for this cure-all ginger tea, which I’m also forcing upon the boy at the point as he’s following in my sickness footsteps about a week later. Bummer.

Sickness aside, it was a lovely couple of weeks, complete with travel to Seattle, some shopping, simple pleasures, exploring what “success” means and lots of time outdoors. Here’s a look!

1. sleepless in seattle: I was in Seattle, I just adore that movie, and I really didn’t sleep that well at the hotel…other than that, no connection…I traveled to Seattle for two nights for a work trip mid-week and was reminded just how much I love that city, especially when the sun’s out! I was able to do some sensible and exciting shopping, eat one of the best seafood dinners I’ve ever had at trendy Rock Creek (if you’re in the area, try it asap!), and reconnect with some friends and family.

view of rainier on the way home from Seattle

view of rainier on the way home from Seattle

incredible key lime pie in a mason jar at rock creek

incredible key lime pie in a mason jar at rock creek

beignets

beignets

trop shop chevron skirt, now on sale online!

trop shop chevron skirt, now on sale online!

inkblot midi dress from anthropologie

inkblot midi dress from anthropologie

2. diving in: swimming was my thing from when I was about three until I was fifteen. I stopped because I wasn’t as competitively inclined as the sport demanded, but I have always loved the certain relaxation and exhaustion that comes with a good swim. Taylor and I brought back the glory days for the first time in a long time on Sunday and successfully swam a mile (72 lengths, 36 laps, and 18 100m sets…). I purchased a full set—”no-drag” bikini, goggles and swim cap—of swim gear and went for it. I so excited to reconnect this this sport. What a great way to spend time outside, get a good workout, and spend time with friends!

new swim setup from the boutique at Zenergy

new swim setup from the boutique at Zenergy

3. new home surprises: we haven’t even been living in our house for a year, so each season is still a surprise. I was thrilled to discover a lilac bush hidden on the side of the house when the boy and I were battling some weeds (weeds:1, humans: 0). These lovely lavendar lilacs are making our home prettier and more fragrant. They’re the best!

lilacs!

lilacs!

lovely surprise on the side of the house

lovely surprise on the side of the house

4. strong alone. unstoppable together: Go, USA! I am so excited about the Women’s World Cup. Watch this video promo (it will make any childhood player nostalgic), and cheer for your country! These ladies kick ass.

5. new duds for the dogs: it was time for the girls to have a little wardrobe update as well. I went to the local pet shop, Thunderpaws, and was overwhelmed by the decision to choose just one collar for Zoe. So, Parley of course needed one, too. Here’s Zoe, modeling her new pink polka-dot “Walk-E-Woo” collar (because the boy can’t nay-say what I put on Zoe), and ParPar, modeling her rainbow trout patterned collar.

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the tag said “bitches love ’em,” which I certainly appreciate.

the impossible photo

the impossible photo

6. #nofilterneeded: I know we talk about this all the time, but Sun Valley, and Idaho in general, is just gorgeous. I am struck every day by the “no filter needed” beauty, which is amplified right now by just how incredibly‚ and uncharacteristically, green it is.

chocolate gulch

chocolate gulch

board ranch bliss

board ranch bliss

lexi's "dome" out warm springs

lexi’s “dome” out warm springs

whiteclouds loop

whiteclouds loop

balsam root

balsam root

dog park

dog park

7. words of wisdom from a glossy mag: When Billy Collins spoke at my high school graduation (which was incredibly awesome), he wisely mentioned in his “top ten list of advice” to not pay attention to glossy magazines. For the most part, I follow this rule, except for the guilty, mindless pleasure of an occasional Us Weekly or my Rolling Stone subscription. I picked up this issue of Glamour in the Seattle airport because of the cover girl (I have a girl crush on Anna Kendrick), with little to no expectation for its contents. I was pleasantly surprised, to the point that I passed it on to Taylor.

In the “success” issue, the magazine tackles what success means for women today. Living in a small town with limited opportunities and careers, finding “success” is something Taylor and I both grapple with constantly. This magazine explores that anxiety, cites the wise words of women in various careers, and gives tips on how to be your most successful self, whatever that may mean. You’ll have to pick up the magazine for a full read — my favorite articles tackled topics from the importance of paternal leave, a simple health quiz, and equal pay in the workplace, to features on different “successful” women.

glamour

Also, here’s the letter from the editor, Cindi Leive, which resonated with both of us:

“Quick: What comes to mind when you think of success? A corner office, and the shoe budget to match? Eight bajillion Instagram followers, including but not limited to your now-envious exes? Yourself, on a desert island, with Theo James mixing margaritas? Whatever you pictured—no judging!—I hope the image motivates ou and makes you happy. As more than 2,000 of you reveal in the Glamour Success Issue survey, 82 percent of women feel confident they’ll attain “success,” whatever that means to them. So inspiring!

But our survey uncovered something else I find troubling: the idea that success isn’t always a happy, promising goal. Sixty-four percent of you feel pressure to be successful, and more than half all women say that the whole idea of getting there is “stressful.” It makes sense; after all, there are so many kinds of success today. Sell your start-up! Run a country! Lean in, and get 100,000 likes doing it! I’m tired just typing all this. Who could possibly hit so many home runs in so many different ballparks? And what if you want to feel successful whether or not you win the game?

So consider this: When Glamour’s survey asked women to stop thinking about their own success path and instead to name other women they considered successful, the winner was Hilary Rodham Clinton or Beyoncé—though both did fine. The most common answer was, quite simply, “My mom.” And odds are that (even if your name is Chelsea Clinton or Blue Ivy Carter) you value your mother not just for the post she held in her life but for the difference she made in your life. I consider my own mom successful not only because she carved out an against-the-odds career in science but also because she was the kind of quirky individualist willing to throw a pig roast in our suburban front yard (true story), and because she was always laughing. Her success—like that of a lot of women I admire—wasn’t about her résumé.

So isn’t it time we looked at ourselves the same way and recognized that Big Front Page Achievements are lovely (and I always cheer when they’re female ones), but success is much richer, and broader than that. Yes, to be happy you do have to push yourself, to take your own dreams seriously. But make sure they’re your dreams, not someone else’s—and remember that success is sometimes measured in how you make the other people around you feel.

Let’s toast to that kind of achievement right now. Theo, can we have a round?”

And with that, I wish you a happy and successful week!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

best of 2014

1. Best Personal Achievement – Graduate School. I am extremely excited to announce that I got into Graduate School at the University of Washington for a Masters of Health Administration!

I had been toying with the idea of going back to school for quite some time and decided to apply for Fall of 2015. I kept this decision fairly private but I am thrilled to have been accepted to my top choice program! Although I cannot say I am thrilled to be a Huskie (go Ducks!), I cannot wait to start a new chapter next Fall!

University-of-Washington-MHA

seattle sky line

seattle sky line

2. Best Personal Endeavor  – The Brass Blossom. The Brass Blossom was born last February after Krista mentioned she needed an outlet (Idaho has really long winters). Our blog has become something that I truly love. The process of creating, writing and publishing keeps me inspired and motivated each day.

Our blog has become so much more than an outlet and I am so happy that we actually made it happen. Cheers to the Brass Blossom and my wonderful coauthor, Krista!

"the brass blossom"

“the brass blossom”

3. Best New Addition – Miss Maude. This year has definitely been a year of juxtaposition. My biggest low of the year was the passing of my beloved pug, Lucy. Lucy was my shadow and canine soul mate and I constantly miss her outrageous ways.

The boy and I got little Miss Maude a few months before Lucy passed and her energy, love and snuggles definitely helped heal pugger Lizzy and my broken hearts. I am so thankful to have this crazy lady in my life as her boundless energy and love make every day better.

pug love <3

pug love ❤

baby maude pod

baby maude pod

big girl maude pod

big girl maude pod

4. Best Book – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This book is raved about for a reason. Last summer I blogged about my love of the book and recommend it to anyone. It is a wonderful coming of age story that perfectly outlines the nature of life. Even though it’s about 800 pages it is a must read!

The_goldfinch_by_donna_tart

the goldfinch by donna tartt

5. Best Recipe – Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. This was a tough one. I debated between the Rose Apple Pie I made for our Olympics Party and the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake I made for a house warming. In the end the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake won by a landslide.

It might not be quite as pretty or delicate but this cake was by far one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had. The candied rhubarb topping paired with a light layer of cake is what makes this cake so delicious. I could have literally eaten just the top off this cake!

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rhubarb upside down cake

6. Best Trip – Jackson Hole/Grand Teton, Wyoming. Krista and I went with our friend Melissa to Wyoming this summer to celebrate her graduation from grad school as well as her completion of the California Bar. Although it pretty much rained the entire trip it was an incredible and adventure filled vacation.

Despite the rain our outdoor adventures were still breathtaking and we revitalized ourselves with eating, drinking and shopping around Jackson.

grand tetons

grand tetons

7. Best Adventure – Goat Lake. One of my goals last summer was to go on more hikes. I definitely got out and explored more of the local hiking trails. By far my favorite hike was to Goat Lake in the Stanley Basin. This was not a hike for the weary but was quite possibly one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. A must hike if you are near and up for a ton of scrambling!

goat lake - stanley basin, idaho

goat lake – stanley basin, idaho

8. Best Clothing Buy – Splendid Jumpsuit. My favorite purchase of this year was by far my Indigo Chambray Jumpsuit by Splendid. It was a bit of a splurge but worth every penny. I have worn it countless times and I love it’s ease and comfort. I can only hope that one day everyone will be a jumpsuit convert!

the boy and i last summer

indigo chaambray jumpsuit by splendid

9. Best Beauty Buy – Rodan and Fields Micro-dermabrasion Paste is a splurge but well worth the money. I do not have the greatest skin. It is a combination of both dry and oily and even being legally blind I can see my large pores and occasional zit. However after using this scrub every other day it has completely evened out my skin and done miracles for my overall complexion. Plus it leaves your face literally softer than a baby’s butt.

If you are looking for one product to add to your routine I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

rodan & fields - micro-dermabrasion paste

rodan & fields – micro-dermabrasion paste

10. Best Gift – Antler Hooks. Antler hooks were my go to gift this year. I originally purchased a large hook set for a wedding gift and have since bought another for a Christmas gift. The hooks are perfectly rustic and fit for any home in Idaho!

antler hooks - my go to gift

antler hooks – my go to gift

11. Best DIY – Hula Hoops. My favorite DIY this year was recovering DIY hula hoops that I made a few years ago. Maude Pod was my right hand gal during this DIY. I find hula-hooping so reminiscent of childhood and more simple times all while being relaxing. It is by far my favorite abdominal exercise, which gives me just one more reason to love it.

diy hula hoops + miss maude pod

diy hula hoops + miss maude pod

missing warm hula-hooping weather

missing warm hula-hooping weather

12. Best Party – Girls Birthday Party. My favorite party that Krista and I threw this year was our dear friend Rachel’s birthday party. Our theme was color and anything and everything girly. Nothing can go wrong with a theme like that. It was colorful, lighthearted and the perfect way to celebrate Rachel and the coming Spring!

girls birthday party

girls birthday party

13. Best Supporter(s) – The Boy & The Mom. Okay, okay I know this is a stretch of a “best of category” but I had to include the boy and my mom in my “Best of 2014.”

For the boy, maybe it’s because it’s our lucky number seven (seven years of dating that is), but I think the incredible year that we have both had is in large part due to the boy. He manages to keep me grounded and is one of my biggest supporters. I am incredibly thankful to have him by my side and couldn’t think of anyone I would rather spend 2015 with!

For the mom, I cannot imagine life without her. Although sometimes I question how I am actually her offspring as she just screams spontaneity, organized chaos and fun loving, I am so thankful to have her in my life. She constantly picks me up when I am down and supports me to the moon and back. She is one incredible, kind, hard-working and beautiful woman who is always up for an adventure.

this guy

this boy 🙂

the best woman i know

the best woman i know

2015 Goals:

Last year I made a 2014 Goal list on my iPhone “notes.” I met most of the goals and unlike what is suggested many of my goals weren’t an exact goal or definite. I like having goals that are more long term and abstract that I can work towards daily, weekly or monthly.

I found the below “this year” list on Pinterest today and it inspired a few more goals to add to my list for 2015:

  1. Read 20+ books
  2. Master a handstand and hold for 60+ seconds
  3. Go on as many Idaho adventures and hikes as possible
  4. Establish a new chapter in Seattle (eeek!)
  5. Learn calligraphy
  6. Pick up the phone and call friends and family more
  7. Remember to take a deep breath and go to yoga (preferably hot) more often
  8. Hug someone daily
  9. Increase my personal savings for graduate school…
  10. Eat/drink more ginger

fc2817741fb384e59cef11a0f461f010 taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – seattle, ducks, goats & dog sweaters

In the spirit of holiday sharing, I caught the boy’s cold right after Thanksgiving. So I spent most of the weekend sleeping and doing a bit/a lot of online shopping for the holidays. All in all it was a great weekend, just not very inspirational… here is what I have been loving in recent weeks!

1. Seattle. Two weekends ago I jetted off to Seattle for a quick weekend trip. I love living in Idaho but I frequently get cabin fever so it is quite nice to get out of town. I stayed with my wonderful friend Ali, who just happens to be the best tour guide and Idaho loving girl around.

A highlight of the trip was enjoying dinner with friends from college at Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar. We enjoyed shots of tequila, rounds of margaritas and some quality Mexican fare (amen for kids quesadillas…Gina Hagerty) all while catching up. Some things just never change. The service was a bit slow and the restaurant was incredibly loud, but the super cool atmosphere and catching up with friends was well worth it!

Highlights from the trip below!

Seattle views

Seattle views

Starbucks & Seattle

Starbucks & Seattle

loved seeing these blonde babes!

loved seeing these blonde babes!

Harry Potter library

Harry Potter library

this fountain was delightful, even in the rain

this fountain was delightful, even in the rain

2. New Thank You Cards. I purchased two identical sets of thank you cards at one of the most incredible paper stores in Seattle, Paper Delights. The antlered and arrowed cards were just too great to not buy out. With the coming holidays I know they will go to good use!

thank you cards from Paper Delights

thank you cards from Paper Delights

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3. Idaho Hunting. While I have been a vegetarian for more than half of my life, I truly have an appreciation for hunting and “harvesting” your own meat. The boy is an AVID hunter and spends a majority of his free waking hours out with Miss Maude exploring Idaho. Here is a great article, appropriately titled Are You Hunting Too Much, that is both endearing and hysterically true to share if you have a special someone who is also addicted to hunting…

I took advantage of a day off to enjoy a day of duck hunting with the boy, my brother and the pups. I have been wanting to see Miss Maude at work with her beloved birds and it was the perfect opportunity to go. Unfortunately I was not feeling very well and literally spent most of the time sleeping in the duck blind but it was still fun to be involved and watch the boys and dogs in action!

gorgeous Idaho view

gorgeous Idaho view

family photo!

family photo!

4. Mini Houses. I have a recent bizarre obsession with mini houses for no particular reason. Maybe it’s the allure of the simplicity and open floor plans that generally incorporate walls of windows that has me captivated. If only I could give up half my closet I might have a chance at living in one of these gorgeous spaces…

Small House Swoon and Small House Bliss are two websites worthy of your next daydream!

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Methow Cabin in Winthrop, Washington

Little Lost Valley Cabin in Summit Springs Ranch, Idaho

Little Lost Valley Cabin in Summit Springs Ranch, Idaho

that wall of windows - Little Lost Valley Cabin

that wall of windows – Little Lost Valley Cabin

5. Inspirational Stories. Recently I have been a sucker for inspirational stories. I generally find myself sniffling alone at home but just cannot stop clicking on the links that follow me on Facebook. I found both of the below stories beyond inspirational and restorative of my faith in the human kind.

Arthur the Adventure Racing Dog joined an adventure racing team and finished a grueling race across Ecuador. Must read for any animal lover! And to calm all of your worries, Arthur was adopted by a member of the team!

stray dog, Arthur, joins adventure racing team

stray dog, Arthur, joins adventure racing team

Coach Catches Teenage Running with Multiple Sclerosis after every race as this teen collapses on the finish line. Regardless of if you are an athlete or not, this young woman’s desire to keep running is incredible.

6. Thanksgiving & Goats. Every year we enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle’s home. They have three amazing children who are growing so quickly into young adults. Not only do they have three children but also just about every farm animal you could imagine!

Immediately upon our arrival we went outside to see the goats (obviously). I have to admit, their goats are pretty amazing and make me think about adopting next Spring. We also enjoyed another incredible dinner cooked by my aunt. She is so wonderful and thoughtful that every year she not only prepares a meal that is devoured but also cooks my stuffing outside of the turkey (something vegetarians everywhere can appreciate). Everyone else enjoyed a 37# farm fresh turkey they raised that starting cooking at 8:00 a.m. It was a GIANT bird!

After dinner we played a few games, pet the cat and digested the incredible meal. I didn’t manage to capture a picture of any food, which is just a testament to how delicious it was!

cousins & goats - it doesn't get much cuter than this

cousins & goats – it doesn’t get much cuter than this

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my new friend

my new friend

7. Snow Days. While Miss Maude has been loving the snow, my lovely but old pugger Lizzy isn’t quite as excited about all of the snow. She has to be bribed to leave the porch. So Lizzy and I are pulling on our Christmas sweaters a bit early while Maude is racing around destroying all hopes of shoveling a nice path. I have no shame in dressing my dogs up….

so much energy!

so much energy!

we broke out the christmas sweaters early this year

we broke out the christmas sweaters early this year

taylor brass

brass blossom